About Figure Skating

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by Kayenne
Last updated 6 years ago

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About Figure Skating

By Sarah Jiang

Early pioneersThe Dutch were the earliest pioneers of skating. They began by skating from village to village as far back as the 13th century. Skating eventually spread across to England, and soon the first clubs and rinks began to form. Skaters included several kings of England, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon III and German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.Steel & BalletTwo Americans are responsible for the major developments in the history of the sport. In 1850, Edward Bushnell of Philadelphia introduced steel-bladed skates allowing complex turns. Jackson Haines, a ballet master living in Vienna in the 1860s, added elements of ballet and dance to give the sport its grace.Oldest sportFigure skating is the oldest sport on the Olympic Winter Games program. It was contested at the 1908 London Games and again in 1920 in Antwerp. Men’s, women’s, and pairs were the three events contested until 1972. Since 1976, ice dancing has been the fourth event in the program, proving a great success

•Jackson Haines, an American, revolutionized figure skating in the 1860s. He began having skaters skate to music and use ballet moves in their programs.•Figure skating was the first winter sport included in the Olympic Games when it appeared at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.•The singles and pairs competitions also appeared in the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games before making their winter debut in Chamonix in 1924.•Modern figure skating is divided into four parts: single skating events for both sexes, pair skating, ice dancing, and synchronized skating.


Figure skating, as we know it got its start in the mid-19th century. This started by an American called Jackson Haines. He started by combining dancing and skating for the very first time. The other Americans didn’t accept Haines technique. So he decided to move to Vienna, Austria he was immediate success. Then 50 years later his style caught United States. Figure skating became an Olympic sport before there were Winter Games. Events for pairs and singles first appeared at the London 1908 Summer Games. Ice dancing joined the Olympics in 1976, when the Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria.The Rules of the GameIn singles skating, each skater performs a short routine of required steps, jumps, spins, and combinations, as well as a longer free-skating routine. The pairs event follows the same format, but with one male and one female performing together.Ice dance is performed by one male and one female, too. But unlike pairs skating, ice dance does not include overhead lifts and jumps. An ice dance competition is made up of three parts: one set to music that has a required rhythm and tempo, and two parts set to whatever music the ice dancers choose.A panel of nine judges scores the quality of each figure skating performance, but only seven out of nine scores are used. To determine which judges' scores will be used, there is a random draw before each event. Skaters are given a grade for each step, jump, spin, or any other element that is part of their routine. They also receive an "overall" score for each performance. The person or team with the highest total score is the winner.


Fun Facts

•The next step in the development of ice skating came in 1742, when the first ice skating association was formed. It was called the Edinburgh Skating Club.•The first instructional book concerning ice skating was published in London in 1772. The book was written by a British artillery lieutenant named Robert Jones. His book describes basic figure skating forms such as circles and figure eights. This book was only written for men, because women did not ice skate in the 18th century. This manual has ice skating split into its two main disciplines, speed skating and figure skating.

About Figure Skating


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